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Portobello Road flea markets could disappear due to Brexit. English traders used to find the antiques repurposed on their counters in dusty attics in France, from trusted antiques sellers who reached in their vans, crossing the English Channel. However, the transport could now be hindered by the new documentation required at the border by customs officers, which would oblige them to label every item they intend to bring from one state to another, in order to determine the value added tax and import tariffs .
″ It is so strange having to go through all this bureaucracy just to import objects that until a few hours before were dusty in some attic, ”Rebecca Merrill, who runs Sunless Antiques, told the Guardian. van, buying items at antique fairs. Transporting them to our country did not involve any additional cost “.
When crossing the border, traders will need to provide precise information on the items on board. Depending on the characteristics, a code will be established. “Let’s imagine that I want to declare a lamp from the 1950s,” Francis Fowler, West Sussex restorer explained to the Guardian. If you enter ‘lighting’ you will find the number, but you will be subject to 20% VAT instead of the maximum of 5% for antiques. If you put generic ‘ancient lighting’, the computer does not recognize it ”. Rebecca sounds the alarm: the antiques industry could be hit hard.